I’ve had a few beta readers working on my latest finished WIP. I have to say the finished one otherwise I think of the current project–which I am still opposed to writing! But I digress. The last WIP has been sent out for beta reading and I’ve received wonderful feedback with some suggestions. Nothing so book altering that I’ve had to adjust my temper, which is a good thing.
When new authors ask me what to do now that they are done with a WIP (work in progress), I tell them to stick it on the shelf for a month. They look at me with the “dear in the headlights” eyes. What ever do you mean by, “stick it on the shelf for a month?”
Many new authors are far too anxious and eager to take the first draft and just run with it, unedited, unread, unscrutinized for content. This is usually all bad. Never be so eager as to skimp on the important stuff, but also know this: if you publish a bad manuscript it will haunt you. So, put your WIP on the shelf for a month and I’m willing to bet you will start to think of things to improve upon. Things will start to materialize that make you say, “Oh! I forgot to tie up this loose end.” Or, “Maybe I should add this in and take that out.”
In the heat of writing wonderful literature, we tend to get excited at a finished product. BUT, is it a polished product? Get at least one unbiased perspective, then walk away from your WIP for a month. Heck, it may only take a week before you start realizing there is more to be said, changed, or taken away. If you have this inkling that something isn’t quite right, don’t hurry it along for publishing. Sit back and let the characters solve this problem in due time.
Go back to your WIP after a month and start reading it from the beginning. And really read it like you are reading someone else’s work. Then you may start to find unanswered questions and loose ends to be tied up. When you feel everything is right, and you have no doubts whatsoever, then and only then should you start the publishing process.
Next blog: Is it okay to update your ebook once its been published?
Tania L Ramos, Author Re-examing her WIP
Hey, even Alan Jackson sings about being a WIP